Do You Suffer From Springtime Allergies?
Springtime is glorious, unless you suffer from allergies. The sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; foggy head and low energy of allergy season is miserable, especially when you want to be outdoors digging in your garden or just enjoying the longer days. Thankfully, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can provide good allergy relief.
What is Hay fever?
Hay fever, or “allergic rhinitis” is an immune system response to pollens. In the spring, tree pollens are the culprit; in the summer, grasses; in the fall, ragweed is the problem. Symptoms range from mild runny nose to allergy-induced asthma. If you suffer with allergy symptoms year round, you have “perennial rhinitis”, which is often caused by animal dander, dust, molds and/or environmental pollution. Whatever the cause of your allergy symptoms, you just want relief. While allergy medications can relieve your symptoms, they can have unwanted side-effects and just mask your symptoms rather than alleviate the root of the problem.
Chinese Medical View on Allergies
According to Chinese Medicine, hay fever is often related to deficiency of the Lung and Spleen functions. In lay terms, that means that your immune and digestive functions may not be operating as optimally as they could. When the Lung and Spleen functions are inhibited, it is easier for your body to accumulate “dampness” and toxins, as there isn’t enough energy to circulate these accumulations out of your body. This can show up as excess mucus and phlegm; gas, bloating, and excess weight; or fatigue and foggy headedness. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help clear the accumulated dampness and toxins and strengthen your Lung and Spleen to reduce your allergy symptoms and strengthen your body’s resistance to allergens.
How to get Allergy Relief
Avoid processed sugar, wheat and dairy during allergy season. Wheat and dairy are common allergens that can put an extra strain on your already-taxed immune system. They also tend to produce extra mucus in the body, which is the last thing you need right now. Sugar tends to lower immune-resistance, which may make you more prone to allergies.
Eat a good variety of richly colored vegetables and fruits. Fruits and veggies contain bioflavonoids, a type of nutrient which helps your body reduce its production of histamines (the chemical responsible for your allergic reaction when you’re exposed to an allergen). You can increase the effectiveness of bioflavonoids by taking extra vitamin C or eating foods which are rich in C.
Drink Chrysanthemum tea. Ask for it in bulk at your local health food store or at an Asian Food Market. In Portland, OR, you can go to Wing Ming Herbs at 2738 SE 82ndAve, between SE Division and SE Powell. Put enough of the flowers in to fill a tea ball 2/3 full and steep for 5 min in your favorite mug. Drink a cup or two of the tea daily to cool itchy, watery eyes.
Make an acupuncture appointment. Acupuncture works with your body’s energy to rebalance and strengthen it at a deep level so that your body can heal itself more easily and efficiently. Along with Chinese herbs, acupuncture can help clear your sinuses, relieve your coughing and itchy eyes and make you feel better so you can get back to doing what you like to do.
Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to know how acupuncture and Chinese medicine might be helpful for you.